George Orwell (25th June 1903 – 21st January 1950) was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and social commentator. His works deal with themes of social injustice, totalitarianism and he was an outspoken supporter of democratic socialism.
Much of his work centred around politics and his influence so great he gave us the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe something totalitarian or overly authoritarian, and many of his neologisms such as Cold War, Big Brother, Room 101, Memory Hole, Thought Police and others are part of every day language today.
Today we’re concentrating on Orwell’s thoughts on Power and Politics and we’ve chosen quotes that aren’t necessarily so well known from his novels, but also from the many essays and news pieces he authored too.
“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”
“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”
“In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”
“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
Sadly Leo passed away in April 2017, aged 86, but has left behind him a legacy of legendary characters still in comic book circulation today. I, personally, owe him a debt of gratitude for my first heroine of literature I looked up to: Minnie the Minx, a violent, rebel girl who hated snobby parents and boring kids.
Robert’s life was far from simple, or easy, and this is reflected in his wise and intelligent musings within his work. It is difficult to condense such a fine body of work into a small blog but we hope we have done some justice to the great writer by choosing our favourite 10 quotes from Zen…
Stare at it! For a long time… Read More
During WWII Muriel worked as a propagandist for the Political Intelligence Department for the British Foreign Office, but once the war was over she concentrated on her writing, in particular poetry and literary criticism.
Muriel considered her joining the Roman Catholic Church to be important in her development as a novelist as it apparently gave her an insight into the meaning of human existence. Her first novel was published in 1957, named The Comforters, and centred on a young woman who discovers she is a character in a novel (I have yet to read it but it sounds fascinating!).
Her most popular novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was published in 1961, which was adapted for stage and film in the 1960s, and for television in the 70s.
Muriel passed away on April 13th 2006, survived by her estranged son.
Beckett’s work often looked at the bleaker aspects of human existence and his use of black comedy and gallows humour can be seen throughout his work. Considered to be one of the last modernist writers, Beckett was one of the key figures in the Theatre of the Absurd, a post WWII designation for plays of absurdist fiction written during the late 1950s. Read More
Internet celebrities swiftly became a normal part of this cyber world; once only singers, actors, and other artists rose to the heady heights of stardom, but now it seems a reachable goal for many, many more people (and animals) than before. Even TIME Magazine is categorising this newer celebrity culture, with their own list of ‘Most Influential Internet Stars…’
This new type of celebrity has created a new genre of book, which is great news for us Reading Addicts! We can now enjoy the likes of Esther the Wonder Pig, or British YouTube stars Amazing Phil and Dan Is Not On Fire in book form.
Here are a few of the best social media stars’ books around today. Enjoy!